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Daily Crunch: Android phones become earthquake detectors

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Google is using accelerometers in an interesting new way, Twitter allows everyone to limit tweet replies and Mozilla announces major layoffs. This is your Daily Crunch for August 11, 2020.

The big story: Android phones become earthquake detectors

Google said that smartphone accelerometers are sensitive enough to detect P-waves, which are the first waves to arrive during an earthquake. So if your Android phone thinks it has detected an earthquake, it will communicate with a central server to confirm.

In California, Google is also partnering with the United States Geological Survey and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide earthquake alerts. For everyone else, you’ll only see this earthquake data if you search for “earthquake” or a similar term.

This is part of a broader set of Android-related announcements today, including updates to Android Auto and Android’s emergency location service, new accessibility features and better sleep through the Android Clock app.

The tech giants

Twitter now lets everyone limit replies to their tweets — A small globe icon will start to appear at the bottom of your tweets, and if you tap it, you can limit replies just to those who follow you, or just to those who you tag in the tweet itself.

Dell’s latest Chromebook blends enterprise security with premium specs — Once relegated to consumer or education use, Chromebooks are gaining traction in enterprise environments.

Tencent and Universal Music to take Chinese artists global under joint label — Tencent Music Entertainment, which spun off from Tencent, commands the lion’s share of China’s music streaming industry.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Google, Nokia, Qualcomm are investors in $230M Series A2 for Finnish phone maker, HMD Global — Since late 2016, the startup has exclusively licensed Nokia’s brand for mobile devices, going on to ship some 240 million devices to date.

Atomwise’s machine learning-based drug discovery service raises $123 million — Atomwise has already signed contracts with corporate partners that include Eli Lilly & Co., Bayer, Hansoh Pharmaceuticals and Bridge Biotherapeutics.

Scribd acquires presentation-sharing service SlideShare from LinkedIn — According to LinkedIn, Scribd will take over operation of the SlideShare business on September 24.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

How Moovit went from opportunity to a $900M exit in 8 years — Private investor (and former Moovit president) Omar Téllez shares the inside story.

No pen required: The digital future of real estate closings — One potential silver lining of the pandemic, at least for the real estate world, may be a forced reckoning with the mortgage closing process.

Emergence’s Jason Green still sees plenty of opportunities for enterprise SaaS startups — One consistent thread runs through Emergence’s portfolio: They focus on the cloud and enterprise, a thesis that has paid off big time.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Mozilla lays off 250 — This move comes after the organization already laid off about 70 employees earlier this year.

EU-US Privacy Shield is dead. Long live Privacy Shield — The EU’s executive body and the US Department of Commerce have begun talks toward fashioning a new “Privacy Shield.”

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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